Telco Tuesday: Farewells, brotherly love, the enemy in your pocket and Iraqi billions
- The Financial Times has a good overview of goings on in Egyptian telecoms, where Vodafone is preparing to say farewell to the market that has treated it very well over the years. Vodafone's new CEO, Vittorio Colao, is keen to reign in spending, cash out of certain investments, and generally tighten up the company's balance sheet after more than a decade of flat-out expansion. Telecom Egypt, its joint-venture partner, could offer up to US$4.7 billion for control of the Egypt operation, analysts say. That kind of cash is hard to turn down these days.
- The resolution of a bitter brotherly feud within India's richest family could mean a dramatic change in the lanscape of the African telecom market. The Ambani brothers, whose intense infighting led partially to the demise of a deal to merge South Africa's MTN with India's Reliance Telecommunications, have kissed and made up. MTN stock has risen sharply since the prominent "I love you, bro" moment, with talk that the deal may again be on the cards.
- Etisalat have been talking up their impending entrance into the Iraqi telecom market since 2008, but it could happen in a way few expected. While all talk so far has been of a deal to buy a stake in Korek, the Kurdish operator, the company is now one of many being said to be interested in buying Iraq's fourth mobile license. The license, which was finally approved this week, should make a nice little earner for the Iraqi government, which will own a 35% stake in the fourth operator. The three current licenses went for $1.25 billion each. But before Etisalat can go dropping that kind of money, it will need to deal with the concerns of the UAE State Audit Institution, which is reportedly unhappy with the free-spending culture of the company, according to an Emarat al Youm report summarised here by ITP.
Published: May 25, 2010 04:00 AM